UAE: New digital number plate will alert police, display messages

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on May 31, 2021

(Shihab/Khaleej Times)

Salik, parking fees and fuel top-ups may also be linked to the number plate through an RFID technology.

A new digital vehicle number plate that will alert the police in case of an accident will soon be rolled out in the UAE.

Once the digital number plate is installed, it will be activated by the transport authority and will be connected to the police department as well.

"Only the government will be authorised to change the display on the plate. The government will be able to send messages to motorists through digital vehicle number plates which will be connected to the driver's mobile. So any message that the government wants to send to you, they'll send it to the number plate through a SIM card used for internet of things. And then that message will go on to the driver's mobile. So the government can communicate both with the driver and motorists around the car because the message will be displayed on the number plate," said Hisham Al Gurg, chief executive officer of Seed Group.

"In case of any accident or fog alert, etc, motorists will get alerts on their digital vehicle number plates. It will also have an RFID technology to pay for Salik, parking fee and fill the tank through a digital wallet which will be linked to the motorists banks or credit card," said Al Gurg.

Seed Group, a company of the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum, has investments in healthcare, F&B, technology, telecom and other sectors.

The Dubai-based group has tied up with the US-based Reviver Auto to launch the digital vehicle number plates with a total investment of Dh250 million in different countries and Dh50 million in the UAE.

Currently being assembled in Taiwan, the digital vehicle number plate will also be equipped with sensors which will send out an alert if the number plate is removed or detached.

"Subject to approval from the federal and local authorities, we are aiming for launch at the end of this year or in the first quarter of 2022. First it will be rolled out for certain segments such as government and commercial vehicles and a complete rollout will take at least three years. I expect the last segment will be average consumers or residents,” said Al Gurg.

In addition, the digital car plates can also carry the advertisements and the authorities may allow a part of revenue from advertisement to go to vehicle owners. There are estimated to be around 5.5 million vehicles in the UAE.

“The money earned from advertisement revenues can go to car owner’s digital wallet and he can pay for the parking, fine, car registration or fuel,” he said.

Digital number plate: 6 things you need to know

1. Will alert the police in case of an accident

2. Can receive messages sent by authorities, such as in case of fog

3. Can display messages for the convenience of motorists nearby

4. RFID technology will enable payment of Salik, parking fee and fuel

5. Sensors will send alerts in case the number plate is removed

6. Can display ads

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